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Stalingrad becomes pedestrian ‘ramblas’ with pop-up shops and palm trees

20:46 06/07/2020

A pop-up shopping centre on a street now lined with palm trees has been created to house seven shops and eateries that have had to abandon their home in the Palais du Midi because of works on the new Toots Thielemans metro station.

Avenue de Stalingrad is becoming “a kind of ramblas,” said Stib spokesperson An Van Hamme. Brightly coloured containers will house the shops for the next two years in the middle of the avenue, closed to traffic because of the works.

Among the shops are travel agencies, catering, a hardware store, sports gear retailer and seller of household appliances. “We are very happy that the region and the business owners found a good alternative,” said Van Hamme. “These shops will definitely stand out in this temporary space. The colour of every container matches the shop’s trademark colour, so customers will immediately recognise them.

The new Toots Thielemans metro stop is being built for the future metro line 3, which will run from the Albert premetro station in Forest to the Bordet station in Evere. While the Thielemans stop is near the existing Lemmonier, that station is not suitable to house metro cars and so a new station has to be built.

The Toots Thielemans station, named after the legendary Belgian harmonica player, is one part of the north-south metro line 3 project. The project also includes seven either entirely new or expanded stations to accommodate metro cars. The Thielemans works should be complete in about 2.5 years; the entire project is slated for completion by 2028.

Photo courtesy Stib

Written by Lisa Bradshaw